Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Do I have rights to my grandfather's estate?

I am the last blood relative to my grandfather who recently passed, there is also his adopted daughter. I found out that she lied to me about the date of his death perhaps to make it impossible for me to contest his will or last wishes. I found out today that escrow closes on his house next week which alone sold for $300,000. My questions are do I have any legal rights to part of the money from the sale of his house? Am I to late to do anything about it?

Asked on 2/10/06, 5:38 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Geoffrey Sutliff Geoffrey A. Sutliff, Attorney at Law

Re: Do I have rights to my grandfather's estate?

It depends on whether or not there was a will. If she or her attorney failed to notice you or falsified notice, the probate can be undone and the distribution set straight. Get the name of her attorney. If it's a trust, demand a certification of trust. If it's a will demand a copy or go to the county where he died and request to view the file.

I'd say you have a shot. Get an attorney if you can afford it.

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Answered on 2/20/06, 2:46 pm
Edward Ardzrooni Law Offices of Edward Ardzrooni

Re: Do I have rights to my grandfather's estate?

You are not entirely outof the picture, but you have a very up-hill climb to put yourself into position to receive anything from your grandfather's estate.

1.First question is this: If you had contested the will in time, would you have prevailed? If you could not prevail if you had filed a contest on time, then you will not succeed now even though the adopted daughter defrauded you.

2.If you obtain a lawyer who will help you succeed in filing a fraud action against her and proving it (winning), then you would have to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the will (that has now been approved because there was no contest against it) is invalid. It is possible to do that, but it takes a lot of work and you have to have good evidence. You have not giiven all of the facts, but if the will is nullified after you have proved fraud on her part, then presumably you and the adopted daughter will each get 50% of your grandfather's estate.

3. If you were to take action at this point, your action would have to be extreme;ly prompt. It will also cost considerable in lawyer fees.

4. If you moount an attqack on her fraud and against the will, you might be able to get her to settle with you by compromise IF you have fair or good ground for invalidatinf the will. That is in part because it will cost her significant lawyer's fees to defend herself against your attack, if yoiu do mount an attack against her.

Because you and I have no attorney-client relatinship at this time, and because the facts you presented are sketchy, you should not rely on this short lewtter as a basis for deciding your action. You need to meet with a lawyer and have an in-depth discussion of all of the relevant facts and history.

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Answered on 2/10/06, 9:15 am

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